Editor's note: This article was originally published on Lindsey Bell's blog. It has been republished here with permission.
Being a stay-at-home mother is a wonderful thing. Really, it is …
But there are times (sometimes seasons) that are incredibly lonely
We spend most (if not all) of the day around no other adults. Our only form of adult interaction is through the Internet (which, I believe, explains why so many stay-at-home moms struggle with addictions to Pinterest and Facebook … but that's another topic).
We love our children, but they can't be our best friends. We need other women in our lives to fill that role.
The problem, though, is that building relationships with other women (especially in this season of life with young children) can be difficult.
We have to schedule around naps and sicknesses. And let's be honest … taking a young child anywhere requires a mom to pack way more stuff than any woman should carry alone.
It's also difficult to make friends with other women because we are so insecure about ourselves. Opinions about parenting choices are so heated these days that we'd rather not be around someone who might disagree with the way we do something.
We moms need each other. I don't have to make the same decision as you to be your friend. Stay-at-home moms can be friends with working moms. Single moms can have friends who are married. Homeschooling moms can be friends with those who send their kids to public schools … you get my point.
We are all on the same team, so it's time we start acting like it
If we did, I think there would be fewer lonely moms out there.
Loneliness isn't just "part of the job." There are some things we can do to fight it.
Here are a few tips for any of you moms out there struggling with loneliness.
How moms can cure loneliness
1. Reach out to other women
I would much rather be invited than do the inviting. I'm guessing I'm not alone in this. As women, we tend to fear rejection (not all of us, I know, but many do). I think it's because of this fear that we don't take initiative with other women.
But here's the thing. We can't blame our lack of friendships on anyone but ourselves … if we don't try.
So join a MOPS group or Bible study. Get involved with a group at your church. Call someone. Invite her over.
Stop waiting for someone to reach out to you, and reach out to her instead.
2. Maintain perspective
Someday, it won't be so hard to leave the house. Someday, we won't have to work around naps anymore. On days when you feel especially lonely, remember that it will get easier to go places with children. These days will not last forever.
3. Leave the house
Go to a park or to the library. Sometimes, that's enough to take the loneliness away for the day. You don't necessarily have to plan something. Just get out and start up a conversation with whoever else is at the park or library.
4. Join a group of some kind
In high school and college, we had a built-in place to make friends. Now, especially if you're a mom who rarely leaves the house, those opportunities to make friends are harder to find.
You might have to create your own opportunities by joining a group of some kind: an exercise group at the Y, a mom's group at church, a Bible study, a ministry, etc.
Or sign your child up for something. You're bound to meet some other parents when you go to your child's event.
5. Look to God to fill your void
It's so tempting to think we'll be happy once we have a friend. If I only had (blank), then I'd be happy.
Unfortunately, even if you have a lot of friends, they are bound to let you down at some point or another. Then what? What happens to your happiness then?
We can't look to human relationships (any human relationships — that includes our husbands, our kids, our friendships, etc.) to fill a God-sized void in our life. That void is God-sized for a reason: because only God can fill it.
Make friends, yes, but look to God to fill your life first.
6. It really boils down to this … take initiative.
Maybe the reason you don't have friends is because you aren't being a friend.
Ouch, huh? I probably should turn that sentence around, though … maybe the reason I don't have friends is because I'm not being a friend. Maybe the reason I struggle with loneliness is because I don't reach out.
Are people going to let you down? Absolutely.
Could they reject you? Yes.
But they could also accept you. They could also become some of your best friends.